U.S. livestock: CME live cattle sag with initial cash prices

Chicago | Reuters –– Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures finished lower on Friday after traders pocketed profits following lower preliminary prices for market-ready (cash) cattle, traders said.

Spot-August futures closed down 0.4 cent/lb. at 148.45 cents, and October one cent lower at 146.85 cents (all figures US$).

Cash cattle traded lightly in Texas at $148/cwt, down $2 from last week in the state, feedlot sources said. Cash bids elsewhere in the U.S. Plains held at $149 versus $153 asking prices, they said.

Last week, the bulk of cash cattle moved at $150 to $152.

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“Some feedlots may have surrendered after seeing futures fall earlier in the session, partly on word that Tyson closed a beef plant,” a trader said.

Tyson Foods on Friday said it is permanently ceasing beef production at its Denison, Iowa plant because of the shortage of cattle.

Tyson’s shutdown of the aging Denison plant should have come as no surprise after completing expansion of its Dakota City, Nebraska facility, said Sterling Marketing president John Nalivka.

Bullish market investors remain optimistic that tight supplies and profitable margins will encourage packers to pay about the same for unsold cattle as last week.

Contrarians believe processors will curb slaughters to conserve their margins, bridle cash spending and underpin cutout values.

CME feeder cattle ended lower on profit-taking and back-month live cattle futures selling, with August futures finishing down 0.125 cent at 213.900 cents.

Hogs up again with cash, pork prices

CME lean hogs rose for a third day in a row, supported by the morning’s higher cash and wholesale pork prices, traders said.

August futures, which expired at noon CT, settled up 0.2 cent/lb. at 78.825 cents and nearly inline with CME’s hog index for Aug. 12 at 78.45 cents.

October, the new lead month, closed 0.275 cent higher at 65.325, and December 0.725 cent higher at 61.95 cents.

Friday morning’s average cash hog price in Iowa/Minnesota was 40 cents higher than on Thursday at $77.19, USDA said.

The morning’s wholesale pork price was at $89.88/cwt, up 46 cents from Thursday, following the $4.31 rebound in pork bellies, USDA said.

Packers needed hogs for Saturday’s estimated 108,000-head kill, and belly demand for summer BLT sandwiches remains strong — for now, a trader said.

Theopolis Waters reports on livestock markets for Reuters from Chicago.

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